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Connect with Tech

Busy If you're a classroom teacher, then there are probably entire days that you don't see another adult for more than a few minutes.  It's tough to develop professional connections with your fellow teachers if the best you can manage is a quick hello as you run to meet your class at the end of recess.

Never fear! There are lots of great technology tools you can use to connect with other innovative teachers to share lesson plans and ideas.  The best part? The sharing can occur between teachers in the same building or across the globe!  Here are some of my favorite tech tools and websites to foster collaboration and communication with other educators:

  1. Twitter  You might have noticed that twitter seems to be everywhere in the news lately.  Twitter is a "micro-blogging" site where users share information in tiny 140 character bites.  It might not seem like a lot of learning can happen in such a small space, but if you know where to look, there's a lot of great education information to be found. To get started, create an account on Twitter.  Once you do, you'll need to find other educators to follow. You might want to start with following Gayle, or me, or a subject based account such as TeacherShare or PBSTeachers.  You can find even more teachers who are using twitter by using one of the many lists published online. Then, use twitter to share interesting sites you find, ask questions, or give help to the others you meet there. It's a nice way to pack a lot of learning into a small bit of text.
  2. Scholastic Teacher Share  Scholastic has begun their own site for teachers to connect and share their best lesson plans.  TeacherShare is still in beta, but already, you'll find hundreds of great lesson ideas complete with links to handouts and web resources. Plus, you can connect with other teachers there who teach the same subject or grade level as you. It's a perfect source of ideas and lessons for any subject area.
  3. PBS Teachers Connect Another great new online community to check out comes straight from your friends at PBS. PBS Teachers Connect gives you a place to collect curriculum resources, connect with other teachers, and communicate about topics that are important to you. For the next several months, they're even hosting several free online webinars for teachers where you can listen, learn and connect with others online.  The next webinar, Remixing Shakespeare, will be held on March 18.
  4. Apple Learning Interchange Finally, one of my favorite online communities is the Apple Learning Interchange. I love the fact that not only will you find great lesson ideas and professional development materials, but you can also participate in discussions and even create your own learning groups.

You'll find Gayle and I online at all of these sites simply by searching for us by name.  Feel free to join us and your fellow teachers as we learn and create together!

What are your favorite tools and websites to connect with other teachers?  Share them with us!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tutors "Supporting Teachers Use of Technology" are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.